Planning an Event? Then head to IMEX America– It’s free! Planning an Event then head to IMEX America. (It’s free!) Elizabeth Glau joins Mike and Jon to discuss some reasons to attend IMEX America. If you are planning an event in the near future IMEX America is probably your best bet due to the day of education.
Jon: Welcome back to the Meetings Podcast. This is Jon Trask from Grass Shack Events and Media along with Mike McAllen. Mike, hello.
Mike: Hello John.
Jon: And we have Elizabeth with us today, Elizabeth Glau.
Elizabeth: It’s so good to be with you guys again.
Jon: Always love having you on the show and appreciate you being here.
Elizabeth: Always a pleasure.
Jon: Oh, we’re doing a formal show apparently.
Mike: That’s great.
Jon: That’s good to know. I’ll make sure to keep my remarks formal. Yes. But actually what we’re here for today at least the intention before things go off the track which they undoubtedly will is to talk about IMEX America because we’re doing a whole series of podcast with IMEX. I know Mike has been working very hard to set up a lot of interviews. We’re just kind of talking ahead of time about IMEX itself and it seems like a good idea to maybe just do sort of informational talk about it for people who aren’t familiar with it or who didn’t attend last year, the inaugural year or things like that. So Elizabeth, you were talking about some of the things like maybe reasons people would want to attend or who can attend. Why don’t you maybe start it on that?
Elizabeth: Yes. So the reason I suggested the topic was I’ve come across a lot of folks who don’t realize that the trade show, the event itself is open at no registration fee to anyone that’s in the meetings and events industry regardless of if you’re a planner or supplier. And I found myself doing a lot of sales for IMEX over the last couple of weeks because I think personally it is a great event. And I think if you’ve got the budget to exhibit and be able to pay for some of those appointments with planners, I think it’s a great investment. It’s a little bit more pricey than some of the shows that you maybe have seen in the past but I think it seems to me that the feedback that I heard from folks after last year was it was definitely worth the expense and they saw a lot of value in those hosted by our appointments.
And I believe – I’m not sure – maybe Mike can correct me after doing an interview with Carina Bauer but I believe one of the changes they were looking at making after last year was making those appointments open to all planners and not just the hosted buyers. So if anybody out there is concerned that they maybe didn’t get accepted as a hosted buyer because they don’t source international meetings, I will still encourage you to attend because you just have to pay for your travel to get there but there’s no fee to attend the conference.
Mike: You know, kudos to you guys because we did talk about because they did listen to both of your podcast that you guys did with her. I guess you did first you did one about it and then she came on and talked about what she had heard. And they actually used the podcast for a lot of the things to make these changes and that was one of them I think. So you guys have a big hand in this. Actually, it’s pretty funny when you think about it, you really made it –
Elizabeth: Yes, all the planners can thank us for being able to have appointments to share, right?
Mike: Yeah, it’s pretty impressive though.
Elizabeth: Checks payable to Building Blocks Social Media.
Jon: Or just have them make it out in your name. Why bother going thru the company?
Mike: Or cash maybe.
Elizabeth: Yeah, cash is even better.
Mike: Yeah, so that is pretty cool. And that’s also one of the reasons why we’re doing the podcasting with them this year is because of that whole – the feedback that you guys gave.
Jon: Well, and I’ve been very impressed with the responsiveness of IMEX. I really think they’re in this for the long haul. And they want to build this show into a very kind of showplace for a whole set of the industry. And it’s not just for any one part of the industry. It’s brining in so many different elements. There’s a huge piece of education coming in thru MPI but you’ve also got IAEE and you’ve got PCMA and so many other organizations that have all sort of come onboard with this and it’s kind of getting a nice focus for all of these different parts of the industry to maybe have one sort of central place that they can come in to and at least kind of touch with each other. Even if they don’t directly cover the same things, if they’ve got this sort of big temp that everybody fits within, I think that’s really probably a good thing for the industry in the long run.
Mike: I agree.
Elizabeth: Yeah, I think last year it just felt like it was such a great event in just in the sense that it was so large, such as brought so many of us together. And the main idea behind the event is the tradeshow but it’s not really tradeshow focused.
It’s focused on the hosted buyer appointments. But it is essentially a huge tradeshow. And then they provide lots of different education and they pretty successfully managed to do some education on the tradeshow floor which I’ve seen go horribly wrong at other events. But they actually – they had the logistics down and they real – I mean they’ve been doing this event in Frankfurt for a long time. So even though last year was their first year in Vegas, and that’s why a lot of folks here in America don’t know about the show and don’t know that they can go for free, this event has existed for a long time over in Frankfurt. And they’ve really pretty much figured out how to put on a great event, over there and they basically just brought it to North America.
Jon: Right, right. And I’ve noticed I was looking at the show itself and I believe they’ve expanded this year. The show floor itself I think is a whole larger than it was last time, so there’s a lot more booths in here.
Elizabeth: Which is crazy because it took me I would say at least two out of the three days last year to walk around to all the booths. So I think it’ll take the full three days this year if you want to see everything.
Jon: And it seems to be a very diverse offering. That’s one of the interesting things too because there’s all sorts in here exhibiting and there are airlines exhibiting and there are country exhibits. You know you can go … or state exhibits. I think there’s a real diversity that somebody who is maybe on the fence about in the industry should take a look at the exhibitor list, kind of scroll thru it and see there may be some things that really match up with what you’re trying to do in the next year and it’s not a bad place to go see a bunch of these people in one place.
Elizabeth: And I think a lot more technology companies, I think last year they kind of smushed them into one small area because the price that they were charging for exhibits, but I think a few of those folks realized that they were going to get a good return on this and they have probably purchased their own full booths this year.
Jon: And we’re kind of excited because as a side note, we’re getting ready to have a booth there ourselves, so we’re prepping for that, And I think even the people around us, it seems like it’s a very complimentary group of people who are around our booth location. I’m really feeling like it’s going to be a great show for people to walk thru because as they walk by us, there are a number of services that will all kind of delved here together really nicely.
Elizabeth: Yeah. And I’ve seen other companies that because the price is kind of steep, I’ve seen other companies trying to share booth space with each other. We’ll see how well some of those match up. But I was able to facilitate one of those matches and I’ll be helping a company called Refiner with their exhibit. Their company does Twitter walls. They have a platform, a technology platform that does Twitter walls at events. So again, being complementary to the services that I provide, I’ll be helping them out. And they’re sharing a booth with a company that we all love which is SongDivsion
Mike: That’s fun.
Jon: Well, I guess Mike and I can mention we have a company called [0:08:37][AB4 Planners] that will be there. So we have a booth and we’re really just totally thrilled to be a part of the show. I think it’s going to be kind of a great debut for this company.
Elizabeth: Well, yeah, the launch of the product that’s been we’ve all been talking about for quite a while. We’re all very excited about. So I think IMEX will be the perfect place to launch AVforPlanners And you guys, knowing the creativity that you guys bring to it, we can expect lots of fun things out of the AVforPlanners booth.
Mike: Yes. It’s going to be great. We’re really, really looking forward to it. I think it will be great if you are planning an event.
Jon: But just in general, I think that if you’re in the meetings industry, you should at least take a look because even if you’re not a hosted buyer, Vegas is not an expensive place to go. There are some very good bargains even if you’re not staying in the host hotel. And their airfares and things are inexpensive to get there. And it’s a good opportunity to see a lot of people. I actually ran into planners and people last year who were attending who were customers of mine or people that I worked with in the industry and I just think it’s a really good opportunity for people to take advantage of with the fact that the actual all the education and all of the tradeshow doesn’t cost anything.
Mike: Yeah, that’s pretty amazing to me because I haven’t been to it yet, so I’m looking forward to seeing it. But how that works, it’s pretty, pretty fantastic.
Jon: Yeah, I mean, I think when you’ve figured what you would spend to attend a lot of industry conferences, I think that it’s a very interesting model that they’ve built where they can just allow anyone to come in and get an education and connect with these different associations and organizations and the people that are all partnering with them.
Mike: M-hm. So what kind of things can people do? What did you guys like last time? I mean, what are you looking forward to? I guess we’re all kind of you know, boothed this time, but –
Elizabeth: Yeah, it’ll be a different experience than what we had last year for sure because last year we just kind of attended and were able to do more just walking around and taking it all in, but I would really encourage people to fly in on Sunday so that they can get the full day of education that MPI is providing on Monday. And I haven’t looked at the schedule this year. I know MPI also did like an opening keynote every morning the days the tradeshow is open as well. Although in my experience, some of the suppliers, you know, namely some of the larger hotel chains offers some pretty amazing hospitality parties at night. So let’s just say it’s difficult to get up in the morning for that keynote. Even though they provided some great speakers and topics, the parties at night were pretty good too.
Jon: And I’m hopeful that Mike and I are going to have a couple of these keynote speakers on the podcast prior to IMEX, so keep an ear out for that. I can speak to one of them directly and that’s a gentleman named Doc Hendley who is the keynoter on Wednesday. I’ve heard him speak before and he has a phenomenal ability to connect with an audience and he has a really great organization that he formed. And I’ll kind of leave it at that. I don’t want to try and tell his whole story here, but I know that he is going to be a great keynote, having been in one of his keynote talks before. And I’m really happy that he’s going to be there because I think it’s a great message and a great thing to bring to the show.
Elizabeth: Oh yeah, and not that I’m on the level of the keynotes, but I am doing a couple of sessions for them on Tuesday. One in what they call their campfire area and one at the iPad bar. So come and see me. Come and me at my session.
Mike: That’s great. So where do you find out about the campfire stuff? Is there a place that you can go and find out about …?
Elizabeth: Yeah. They’re definitely listed on the website. It’s just the hard thing with shows like this is that there’s just so much going on at all times, so you really just have to and I’m sure they’ll have a similar mobile app that they did last year too. So hopefully the mobile app will be easy to read and know what’s going on and to create your own schedule so you know where you want to be at any given minute.
Mike: Ah, so it is the inspiration center is where the campfires are held.
Jon: OK. That makes sense.
Mike: Yes. So that’s where you’ll be.
Elizabeth: Yes because I’m so inspiring.
Mike: Yes, inspire. That’s really fun.
Jon: There’s a huge – here’s an example on Monday, the first one hour set of sessions, they have four different sessions from MPI. They are being presented; global meetings, management study, ramification, what CSR means to you in your delegates. And social media for attendees who don’t do social media, and that one’s actually taught by Jenice Fryatt who is also a mutual friend of the show. Great if you are planning an event.
Mike: Yeah, that’s awesome.
Jon: So you have to go into the IMEX website and you have to kind of drill down a little bit to find things like the Smart Monday link and that will have links on it that show you were to go and some of them will even carry you out to other websites like MPI’s website where a lot of this information is also posted.
Mike: Very cool.
Jon: So, yeah, definitely looking forward to it. We’re going to have a lot more information on the podcast over the next month or so leading up to the show. And we’re pleased to be partners with them. We’re pleased to be involved in the show in a couple of different ways. And as I know, you are Elizabeth and just really looking forward to going back and having a great week there in Vegas.
Mike: Oh, go ahead.
Elizabeth: I was just going to say, it’ll be a good time ahead
Mike: Yeah. I was going to say I’m having a fun time trying to organize these podcasts because they’re all in London, you know, the early mornings to do all the recordings which is nice. Jon, you’ll appreciate that. I’m more of a morning person than you but you’re going to have to do some of these, so.
Jon: Well, you know, midnight here is 8 AM in London. That’s an option.
Elizabeth: There you go. Right, do it that way.
Jon: So, anyway, I think that’s really all for this show unless anybody has anything else to add. But we just want to give a little preview of IMEX. We wanted to kind of bring out some of the features of it and talk a little bit about the fact that there’s no cost to attend which I don’t think a lot of people realize just what a great value they can get by going to this show.
Mike: Yeah, that’s awesome.
Elizabeth: So we hope to see you all there.
Jon: All right. Thank you for being on today and everyone have a great week and we’ll talk to you soon.
Elizabeth: Thanks guys.
Mike: Thank you.
Planning an event?